The memorandum for the creation of a Specialised Smuggling Team is signed in Panama - EL PAcCTO
Panama / EME

The memorandum for the creation of a Specialised Smuggling Team is signed in Panama

17 March 2022

At the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry in Panama, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed for the creation and implementation of a Specialised Multidisciplinary Team (EME) in the struggle against smuggling, customs fraud and money laundering . An EME that has been promoted by the EL PAcCTO programme and signed by the Attorney General of the Nation, Javier Enrique Caraballo Salazar, the Minister of Public Security, Juan Manuel Pino, the General Director of the National Customs Authority, Tayra Ivonne Barsallo, and the Director of the Financial Analysis Unit, Isabel Pérez Henríquez.

The memorandum was also signed in the presence of the Head of International Cooperation of the European Union delegation, Kurt Leiseder, and the Deputy Coordinator of the justice component of EL PAcCTO, Glória Alves, who attended as a witness of honour.

The Team has been formed with a double objective. On the one hand, it constitutes an organised and stable working group to establish inter-institutional coordination between the signatory parties that already exist in Panama. On the other hand, it is configured as a qualified response tool to deal jointly, in coordination and comprehensively with sensitive or complex cases linked to serious or organised crime, seeking to establish synergies between the signatory institutions that will enable greater efficiency and effectiveness to be achieved in investigation and prosecution.

Promotion of coordination between institutions

The parties agree to:

  • Develop, in coordination within the scope of their respective powers, the actions and measures necessary for the effective fulfilment of the purpose of this agreement;
  • Loyally cooperate with each other, always striving to ensure that the Specialised Multidisciplinary Team meets its objectives and to do so fully in line with current legislation;
  • Develop common priorities and joint operational plans;
  • Contribute to the Team with existing human and material resources;
  • Contribute to investigations and prosecutions based on the respective missions, capabilities and competences of each party, as well as on its own regulatory framework;
  • Carefully select its representatives in the Team, providing them with training and technical assistance in order to improve their investigative capacity within the scope of their competence.

The Ministry of Public Security also joins the Multidisciplinary Team Specialised in tax offences that has already been created in Panama. The Prosecutor’s Office, the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) and the General Directorate of Revenue will also participate in this EME.